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Zamias v. Fifth Third Bank

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

March 27, 2018

GEORGE ZAMIAS, ESTATE OF MARIANNA ZAMIAS, DECEASED, DAMIAN ZAMIAS, individually and as co-executor of the Estate of Marianna Zamias, STEPHEN ZAMIAS, individually and as co-executor of the Estate of Marianna Zamias, ESTATE OF SAMUEL ZAMIAS, DECEASED, Kathleen Zamias, Executor, Plaintiffs,
v.
FIFTH THIRD BANK, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          KIM R. GIBSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Pending before the Court is a Motion to Strike the Amended Complaint (ECF No. 29) filed by Defendant Fifth Third Bank ("Fifth Third"). The motion has been fully briefed (see ECF Nos. 30, 31, 32) and is ripe for disposition. For the reasons that follow, the Court will DENY Fifth Third's motion.

         II. Relevant Background[1]

         On June 26, 2017, Plaintiffs filed this action in the Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County, Pennsylvania. (See ECF No. 1-2.) Plaintiffs asserted six counts against Fifth Third: (1) fraud; (2) tortious interference with contractual relations; (3) breach of duties of good faith and fair dealing; (4) accounting; (5) fraud in the inducement; and (6) predatory lending practices. (ECF No. 1-2 at 17-23.) Fifth Third removed the case to this Court on August 18, 2017. (ECF No. 1.)

         On August 25, 2017, Fifth Third filed a Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 4.) On September 5, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Remand Based on Abstention. (ECF No. 7.) Both morions were pending on October 11, 2017, when the Court held an Initial Rule 16 Conference with the parties. (ECF No. 20.) The same day, the Court entered the Initial Scheduling Order, which provided that the parries "shall move to amend the pleadings or add new parties . . . within 14 days after the Court's decision on Fifth Third Bank's motion to dismiss." (ECF No. 21 at 2.)

         On January 9, 2018, the Court filed a Memorandum Opinion and Order denying Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand and granting in part, and denying in part, Fifth Third's Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 26.) The Court denied Fifth Third's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' tortious interference claim (Count 2) in regards to the allegations that were not barred by the statute of limitations. (Id. at 40.) The Court granted Fifth Third's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' fraud claim (Count 1), fraudulent inducement claim (Count 5), equitable accounting claim (Count 4), and predatory lending claim (Count 6), which were dismissed with prejudice. (Id.) The Court granted Fifth Third's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' claims of breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing (Count 3) and legal accounting (Count 4), but granted Plaintiffs leave to amend these claims. (Id.) The Court also granted Plaintiffs leave to amend to plead a breach of contract claim, and informed Plaintiffs that, under Pennsylvania law, claims for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and legal accounting must be accompanied by a breach of contract claim. (Id. at 38.)

         Pursuant to the Initial Scheduling Order, Plaintiffs had until January 23, 2018, to file an Amended Complaint. (See ECF No. 21 at 2.) Plaintiffs did not file an Amended Complaint by the deadline.

         On January 23, 2018, Fifth Third filed a 120-paragraph Answer to Plaintiffs' Complaint. (ECF No. 27.)

         Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint on February 7, 2018. (ECF No. 28.) Plaintiffs filed their Amended Complaint 16 days after the deadline for filing an Amended Complaint had passed, 16 days after Fifth Third filed its Answer, and without asking this Court for leave to file or leave to amend the Initial Scheduling Order previously entered in this case.

         Subsequently, Fifth Third filed the pending Motion to Strike the Amended Complaint and an accompanying Memorandum in Support. (ECF Nos. 29, 30.) Plaintiffs filed a Response to Fifth Third's motion and a Brief in Opposition. (ECF Nos. 31 and 32.)

         III. Legal Standard

         Amendments to pleadings are governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15. But, as this Court recently stated, "when a party seeks leave to amend the pleadings after the deadline set by a court's scheduling order, that party must first satisfy Rule 16(b)(4)'s requirements for modifying a scheduling order." Hadeed v. Advanced Vascular Res. of Johnstown, LLC, No. 3:15-CV-22, 2017 WL 4286343, at *2 (W.D. Pa. Sept. 26, 2017) (citing Graham v. Progressive Direct Ins. Co., 271 F.R.D. 112, 118 (W.D. Pa. 2010) (citing cases)); Abed-Rabuh v. Hoobrajh, No. 3:17-CV-15, 2018 WL 300453, at *2 (W.D. Pa. Jan. 4, 2018) (Gibson, J.)

         IV. ...


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